Al-Qaeda in Yemen: Amputations and Crucifixions
A new report from Amnesty International has detailed “horrific human rights abuses” committed by Al-Qaeda in Yemen during the international terrorist group’s 2011-2012 bid to oust Yemen’s government.
The crimes Amnesty International investigators listed included amputation, torture and crucifixion.
The report focused on the governate of Abyan, which the Al-Qaeda affiliate group Ansar al-Sharia seized in early 2011. The group set up courts of Islamic law in the region which “frequently imposed cruel, inhuman and degrading punishments… including summary killings, amputations and floggings,” Amnesty International charged.
One man accused of spying was killed and his body crucified. Another young man had a hand cut off in public for alleged theft. The accused said he had been tortured for days before his hand was cut off, and had not been allowed to attend his own trial.
Amnesty International also condemned Ansar al-Sharia for its “enforcement of a highly repressive social and religious code.”
After falling into Ansar al-Sharia’s hands, the Abyan area became the site of heavy battles between the Islamist group and government forces. An estimated 250,000 people were displayed.
Amnesty International condemned both Ansar al-Sharia and the government over human suffering during the fighting: the former for “recklessly exposing civilian residents to harm” and the latter for using “inappropriate battlefield weapons such as artillery in civilian areas.”
The group urged Yemeni authorities to conduct their own inquiry. “The tragedy of Abyan will haunt Yemen for decades to come unless those responsible are held to account and victims and their families receive reparations,” it warned.